The pistons are located in the engine block and are part of the motion-transferring mechanisms that power the vehicle. It's typically a cylinder or oval in shape, and it's designed to be "exploded" against during the combustion stage of the engine stroke. This explosion moves the piston (including the connecting rod on the underside of the piston) through the cylinder (one of several holes precisely drilled into the engine block) which provides the rotation to the crankshaft, continuing through the drive components, and eventually to the wheels. The piston itself typically doesn't fail like other parts do because it's a very solid part meant to take a beating over and over. A more likely scenario for replacing the pistons is if the engine is very old and the combustion surface has warped over time due to an engine's high heat. Customers who purchase pistons also typically purchase the piston rings, connecting rods, and the cylinders, which provide a complete package for rebuilding an engine.
What do your engine's pistons do while it's running?
Most pistons in modern vehicles are forged (a process that involves "squeezing" the metal into shape under high pressures) and withstand decades of use under normal driving conditions. The most important part of a piston is actually the piston rings. The rings circumference the piston and are designed to "sweep" the insides of the cylinder to remove excess oil from the combustion chamber. These are far more likely to fail than the piston itself. The other point of contact that may need replacing over time is where the connecting rod meets the opposite side of the piston (from the combustion chamber), also called the connecting rod pin and bushing. Once again, the pin and bushing are much more likely to be a point of failure than the piston itself.
A guaranteed good time.
A piston is a time-consuming and difficult part to replace because it requires opening up the whole engine and removing all of the cylinder head components to reach it. It is advised to have this part replaced by a certified mechanic, however if you intend to do it yourself, there are some guides out there to accomplish the task. Changing out a piston can also be very expensive because of the time and labor involved. Consult a local mechanic to find out which method would be the best use of your time and/or money.
To summarize the installation process:
Break down the engine and remove the cylinder head components so the cylinder openings are exposed.
Break down the underside of the engine.
Remove the crankshaft assembly, including the connecting rods and pistons.
Disconnect the pistons from the connecting rods.
Reconnecting the new pistons to the connecting rods (At this point, you'll want to use any other new engine block parts as well).
Reconnect the crankshaft assembly and the underside engine components.
Reconnect the top side engine components including the cylinder head. You'll also need recalibrate the engine to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Get the best internal engine parts right here.
Car Parts Discount carries pistons for a variety of vehicles. Since pistons rarely need to be changed in modern vehicles, our selection encompasses vehicles that collectors would be working on today. Everything from muscle cars to trucks and European vehicles, like the Volkswagen Beetle, we carry parts for. We carry quite a few parts from quality suppliers such as Mahle and QSC to help rebuild your vehicle with the right pistons.